Thursday, March 30, 2017

House Hunting....Sigh...grrrrr....whatever

We are continuing to look. It's just hard not to....what if that awesome place comes up for sale and we miss it because we are thinking to buy later? House prices are only going up.

So, in addition to visiting different areas, we've been looking a lot online. Found a duplex in Iron Ridge....yes....duplex, 2 bedrooms & bath downstairs, same upstairs. My daughter would rent one from us. Looks nice inside.

Sunny front porch!


Look at the back yard!!! OMG I want this!!!! Look at the view! My DREAM

So we decide to check out Google Streetview, to check out the view out front.

*shit*

shit
shit
shit

I am so disappointed. Iron Ridge is not too far. Mayville is sort of far, but it seems everyone in Wisconsin is driving a half-hour to work. 

While we were out driving we went up to Mayville. My daughter was driving, so it was a treat to hubby to sit back and look around. We stopped for coffee and then drove around town a bit. We weren't really impressed. The roads were steep and twisty...could be a nightmare in winter. We also didn't find many areas where one could walk along the river. Anyway, we decided to drive up to Lomira. My hubby's work has a plant there. He could transfer. It was ok, but we didn't connect with it. On to Horicon. We drove past the Horicon Marsh. We will go back in spring or summer.

Horicon Marsh

Horicon was ok but too far, unless hubby got a job up there. For the heck of it we decided to drive to Beaver Dam. We were not impressed. Seemed dumpy. So....I said, why don't we go to Neosho. It's less than 10 minutes from Hartford and they have a lake.

Neosho


It was getting too dark and cloudy for good pictures, but we will certainly go back again. It has a cute coffee shop, with really good coffee and a nice lady running it, who also has the area filled with antiques. Neosho would be nice for us, less than 10 minutes from work, and I wouldn't need to change doctors. It's small, population is under 600, and of course, it's become the go-to place for the Hartford financially privileged to go grab a house on the water. Waterfront property at Pike Lake is in the $400,000 to a million range. In Neosho it's more in the $200,000 to $300,000 range. None of this is affordable for us. That's why people are driving so darn far to work, they have to go that far to find affordable housing, and Hartford is rural! 

Nothing makes you feel more like a piss-poor peon than house hunting. 

As it stands, we qualify for 1% down, as first-time home buyers, because I sold my house 3 years ago. That's some comfort. 

Hubby has a tendency to want more house than I do. He wants 3 bedrooms and at least 1.5 baths. (Think long-term visits from family)

I want sunny windows for my succulents and this view:


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Adventures

Today was hubby's last day off this week so we drove tho Iron Ridge and Mayville. Iron Ridge has several ridges, each higher than the first. You can see for miles to the west, south and north. The last and highest ridge has a wind farm on the other side. New construction, especially condos, is booming in Iron Ridge.



Then we continued to Mayville. We are impressed with Mayville. The population is about 5,000, one third the size of Hartford, but the quaint downtown is 4 times as big. Houses are more affordable, apartments are more affordable. We aren't sure of the job situation. We enjoyed a short walk around town, stopped for coffee, watched an eagle soar over the water, and drove home.



We left Mayville at 4 pm, reached the highway 60 junction at 4:14, and passed my hubby's work at 4:19. Of course, that's in good weather. Honestly I think it would become exhausting in winter if hubby had to drive that far to work. There are jobs up there. I think the best strategy would be for hubby to find a job, then we rent an apartment until we again qualify for a mortgage loan.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Well, yeah, bad mood yesterday

Ok, regrouping. We have a new plan.

  • Continue to pay off credits 
  • Continue saving aggressively
  • Hubby visits parents next winter/spring
  • We look to buy in 2018
Hubby needs to visit Kosovo. His mom is sad, she's old, nuff said.

Now it's in the back of my mind....what if we miss our dream home because I told the realtor we need to wait. If by some miracle we get enough saved up.....we just need to wait and see.


Monday, March 20, 2017

On Hold

We are putting our plan on hold. Yes, we qualified, but it's not enough to buy something here in Hartford. The next county over is cheaper but not much for sale there, unless you go farther away. The trouble is, "farther away" is down county roads that might not get plowed in time for hubby to make it to work or back home. We decided to wait, save more, and completely pay off our credit cards, which by American averages, are way, way below normal.

Another issue is hubby's work is slow. The company is telling people they won't get a lot of overtime this year. They didn't even give any raises. Heck, freakin' Walmart gave raises. My daughter got a raise.

Oh well, it is what it is.

Happy first day of spring. At least the snow melted.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

What's Up

One day when hubby and I were looking at houses online, I clicked on one of those "Get pre-approved" buttons and filled out the form. I instantly got a call from Quicken Loans.

Buying a house requires lots of homework. I am a former homeowner, but that was 3 years ago. Both hubby and I qualify as first time home buyers with 1% down. Our credit rating is above the requirement. Our income to debt ratio is excellent. We don't have 20% in the bank. 3% is more like it. Pre-approval is not the same as actually having a letter in hand. We will need to wait and see what they actually approve us for.

Enter the homework, Aside from the obvious gathering of documents, there is the question of what lender do we trust, who has the best deal, how to find a good realtor.

In the meantime, we do not:

  • Change jobs or quit a job or become self-employed
  • Open a new charge card
  • Take out a loan
  • Buy anything major like a car or furniture
  • Make any late payments
  • Open a new bank account
  • Originate inquiries into our credit
  • Co-sign a loan
  • Spend money set aside for closing


The exciting part is that we are probably much closer to buying a home than we thought.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Thinking Out Loud

The dark mood has passed.

It was more political and social than because of the weather. Things affect you, what thoughtless people say affects you, even when they don't really know you, so they don't think they are talking about you, but they are, and just don't know it. When you watch your country become divided, with sensible people on one side and knee-jerk jerks on the other, it becomes difficult. But many in America rose up, and came together, and my immigrant hubby, legal immigrant hubby, can see that.

We have decided to stay in Hartford, and for that I am infinitely thankful. My hubby has received an offer for job training in a better department, in the very company he is working for now. When completed, his pay should be where he wanted it to be.

Regarding Madison, we decided it should just be an occasional overnight mini vacation. In fact, hubby is there now with his cousin and friends. After hearing about our visit, they wanted to go, too!

As for Wisconsin, everyone in this state complains about the taxes, but we are here, loving our state anyway.

After hubby left for his trip, I joined my daughter for a cleaning marathon. We packed away several boxes in her basement storage. Tomorrow we are going to tackle my storage.

Yesterday evening I took this photo looking out from my daughter's apartment. I would say, she has the better view.